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Imaging Standards

Description of fileDescriptionFile size
Unedited, archive TIFFs24-bit color; at least 300ppi70-110MB
Edited TIFFs for making derivativesTake unedited TIFF and: crop, adjust tonal balance, sharpen40-80MB
Large JPGs for web display72ppi; resized to 600-800 pixels along longest dimension100-150k
Smaller JPGS for thumbnails72ppi; resized to 150-200 pixels along longest dimension10-20k
MrSID files for illustrations/detailed images20:1 wavelet compression1-3MB

Equipment
Scanning Device: Kaiser Scando Dyna A+
The Kaiser Scando in action.
The Kaiser Scando in action.

In 1997, we received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to digitize plant images and tie them to our botanical database (see project web site). Funds from this grant allowed us to upgrad our first workstation from the 35mm Nikon to a Kaiser Scando Dyna A+ digital camera using the same Nikon 60mm Macro lens. The workstation is now illuminated with 2 Scandles high frequency fluorescent lights by Plume Ltd. The lights are set parallel to the copystand and at about a 45 degree angle to the stand. We added soft boxes without the inner baffles to the lights. This setup makes it easier to balance the lights to within 1/10 of a stop on all four corners of the scan. We use a Polaris M880 digital exposure meter to balance the lights. This is very important when working with books with even-toned, light color backgrounds. The same Beseler CS21 copy stand was used from our previous set up. With this copytstand's 44" tall column and the 60 mm lens we can scan an object with maximum dimensions of 20" x 20". The books are supported with small, medium and large sets of Clarkson Rare Book Support foam blocks by UFP Technologies.

The Kaiser came bundled with SilverFast Ai software for scanning. We keep upgrading to the most recent version. We also use the latest version of Adobe Photoshop for editing and standardized actions to crop, set tonal and color balance and sharpen the image before it is saved in various formats and placed on-line.

The following books were digitized with the Kaiser Scando Dyna A+:


Scanning Device: PhaseOne PowerPhase
This image shows the flourescent lights that caused artifacts.
This image shows the flourescent lights that caused artifacts.

In 2001 we were funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to work on our current rare book scanning project. Equipment funds were used to purchase a second workstation with a PhaseOne PowerPhase digital scanning back. This back was attached to a Mamiya RZ Pro II medium format camera body and a Mamiya 90F3 5RZ 90MM f/3.5 lens. Originally we used high frequency fluorescent lights but found the fluorescent lights were creating significant artifacts (magenta banding) in the scans. We changed to a HID type lamp, the Desisti Broadlight. These were set up with soft boxes (without the inner baffles), parallel to the copystand and at about a 45 degree angle. The bulbs in the fixtures are Philips Powertone Mastercolour CDM-T - UV block lamps. A Kaiser HPM 60" Column and Copystand allows us to scan a 2 dimensional object up to 46" x 42". We were using a custom built book cradle (shown in the image), but found that the Clarkson Rare Book Support foam blocks were better suited for our purposes.
The following books were digitized with the PhaseOne PowerPhase:

Scanning Device: Epson Expression 1680 Professional FireWire
Image Copyright©  2000 - 2002 Epson America, Inc
Image Copyright© 2000 - 2002 Epson America, Inc

In 2001 we added a 3rd workstation, an Epson Expression 1680 Professional FireWire flatbed scanner. This scanner comes equipped with Color CCD line sensors with an effective pixel dimensions of 13600 x 18720 pixels at 1600 dpi and a maximum flatbed size of 216 mm x 297 mm (8.5 inches x 11.7 inches). The scanning resolution is 1600 dpi without interpolation. Some of the books chosen for this project were in poor condition and in need of conservation. While disbound, we scanned them on the Epson flatbed. After they were digitized, the Conservation staff of the Library rebound them.
The following books were digitized with the Epson Expression 1680 Professional FireWire:

Scanning Device: BetterLight Super6K
Fred Keusenkothen and Leslie Miller using the BetterLight Super6K.
Fred Keusenkothen and Leslie Miller using the BetterLight Super6K.
Closeup of BetterLight Super6K digital scan back.
Closeup of BetterLight Super6K digital scan back.

In the spring of 2002, we switched from the PhaseOne to a BetterLight Super6K digital scanning back with the same Mamiya camera, lens, copystand, lights and lamps. There were several reasons for this, the most important being the faster scan times with the BetterLight. With our high output per year, speed is a very critical issue. We also found the BetterLight scanning software to be more user-friendly than the PhaseOne software, and the customer service offered by BetterLight is outstanding. The BetterLight is designed for use with a large format camera, but the cost of a large format camera and the lens was not in our budget. We are using the BetterLight with a RB/RZ-67 adapter which allows the BetterLight back to work with our Mamiya camera.
The following books were digitized with the BetterLight Super6K:

 
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